British Columbia

B.C. breaks daily case record for 4th straight day as it records 2,441 new cases of COVID-19

B.C. has shattered its record for daily cases of COVID-19 for the fourth straight day, recording 2,441 cases and four deaths on Friday.

There are 192 people in hospital with the disease, 71 of whom are in intensive care

A line of vehicles at a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing clinic in Coquitlam, B.C. is pictured on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. has shattered its record for daily cases of COVID-19 for the fourth straight day, recording 2,441 cases and four deaths on Friday.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 10,415 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C. The numbers mean the province has also set a record for active cases.

A total of 192 people are in hospital, with 71 in intensive care.

There have been 1,613 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant identified in B.C. as of Friday, 959 of which have been detected in the Vancouver Coastal Health authority.

 

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by one case from last Friday, when 191 people were in hospital with the disease and nearly 40 per cent from a month ago when 318 people were in hospital. 

The number of patients in intensive care is down by about four per cent from 74 a week ago and by 34.8 per cent from a month ago when 109 people were in the ICU.

 

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,414 lives lost out of 235,658 confirmed cases to date.

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • 1,001 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 3,554 total active cases.
  • 967 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 4,571 total active cases.
  • 219 new cases in Island Health, which has 1,274 total active cases. 
  • 188 new cases in Interior Health, which has 778 total active cases.
  • 66 new cases in Northern Health, which has 236 total active cases.
  • There are no new cases among people who reside outside of Canada, a group which has two total active cases.

There are a total of two active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term, and acute care facilities. The province has declared an outbreak at Ridgeview Lodge, a nursing home in Kamloops.

There is also an outbreak in acute care at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.

 

As of Friday, 91.8 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 89 per cent a second dose, and 17 per cent a third dose.

When taking into account those five and older, 87.8 per cent of people in B.C. had received a first shot and 82.8 per cent a second dose.

From Dec. 16 to 22, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 21.9 per cent of cases and from Dec. 9, they accounted for 67.2 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

So far, 9.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 4.1 million second doses.

Province's testing capacity at maximum

In a news conference on Friday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province's contact tracing and testing capacities were at maximum capacity due to the latest surge in cases.

Henry said testing should be available for those most at risk as well as health-care workers who need negative tests to work.

 

She urged people in British Columbia to not seek testing for travel purposes and be proactive with self-isolation if they suspect they have COVID-19.

"If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 ... you must assume you have COVID and take measures to avoid passing it on," she said.

Those who are fully vaccinated, are not immunocompromised and have mild symptoms, should self-isolate for a week. Those who are not fully vaccinated should self-isolate for 10 days.

Close contacts should self-monitor for symptoms for two weeks, in the absence of contact tracing, and unvaccinated close contacts should self-isolate for 10 days.

WATCH I Henry says testing facilities have hit maximum capacity:

B.C. health officials say contact tracing and testing is now at maximum capacity

8 months ago
Duration 0:59
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said contact tracing and testing sites are at maximum capacity as COVID-19 cases surge in B.C., driven primarily by the more infectious Omicron variant.

Restrictions in place

Henry revealed the latest round of public health orders at a Tuesday news conference.

They include:

  • No indoor organized gatherings of any size, including weddings, receptions and parties.
  • Bars and nightclubs closed.
  • Maximum of six people per table at a restaurant, pub or cafe.
  • Gyms, fitness centres and adult dance classes must be shut down. 
  • Seated events like concerts, sports games, movie theatres are down to 50 per cent capacity.

Swimming pools can continue to operate but staff must scan proof of vaccination QR codes before allowing users in. Hotel pools are exempt.

People are pictured working out at Engineered Bodies Strength & Conditioning fitness gym hours before restrictions came into effect in Port Moody, B.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Personal gatherings are still limited to your household plus 10 guests or one additional household. Everyone in the house must be vaccinated.

The new rules do not include restrictions around travel within B.C. ahead of Christmas. The province has emphasized the need to balance families' mental health with reducing the spread of the virus.

On Friday, the Vancouver Canucks announced that their home game against the Seattle Kraken on Dec. 27 would not go ahead due to a league-wide mandate regarding COVID-19 testing results.

No NHL regular season games are now scheduled to be played before Dec. 28.

The postponement of the Kraken fixture follows postponements of earlier Canucks games against the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. Fans have been told to hold on to their tickets for when the games are eventually rescheduled.

With files from Akshay Kulkarni and Bridgette Watson

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